It’s stunning on Rum just now. The colours are fantastic, photos don’t do it justice and words fall way short. There is a smell of woodsmoke in the air and the sun (which continues to keep putting in an almost daily appearance) is hanging low in the sky giving a fantastic quality to the light.
Today we headed off over to Kilmory – the north side of Rum with a white sandy beach, views across to the Isle of Skye and panoramic ocean views. And home to the Kilmory Deer Research project. We are fortunate for so many reasons living here on Rum but one which we never anticipated is the experts we have access to. The people who make up our fragile community have come to Rum for a variety of reasons but high on the list is research science. We count among our residents here two of the worlds leading experts in red deer research – able to glance at a deer and tell you who they are, their parentage, their offspring and their success rate at breeding.
As we headed off away from the croft there were two stags parallel walking in the area just above the croft and stags roaring all around which did make us rather question why we were off five miles away but Kilmory is always worth the effort and today was no exception.
We drove part way today – there are repairs and improvements being made to the track at the moment and our car would not have managed the rough ride all the way there so we did 2 miles by car and walked the final 3 but it reduced our journey time from two hours to just one. Once there we settled into the hide and sat for a good couple of hours watching as the stag right infront of us with a large harem (we counted 24 at the peak while we were there although several wondered off during the course of our stay) defending against incomers and challengers. We saw a couple of parallel walks, roaring aplenty and lots of interesting behaviour. We also had a chat with one of the researchers who showed us the census information he was collecting and ID’d the main players infront of us. Davies was most interested to note that two of the key stags were 2000 births the same as him. Scarlett was mostly just falling in love with the little spotted calf who was a late birth this season and very cute.
Then home again – an hours walk to the car, past more stags and hinds, then a drive back to the croft. There is plenty more roaring out on the croft tonight – it’s a noisy time of year.
The skies tonight were amazing – as though the hills were on fire.